• The Dorset County Boundary Survey website
Durotriges

Shire Rack Westwards - Rushmore

Dorset/Wiltshire border

Field Visit

Wednesday 02 October, - 10.00 for 10.30am
Location: Rushmore Golf Club, Rushmore Park, Tollard Royal, Salisbury, SP5 5QB
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ST957187; (395780, 118790)

Driving in from the east pass through Sixpenny Handley village on the B3081 heading towards Tollard Royal. The golf club entrance is signed about a mile further on, the right hand, north, side. The drive takes you through the Rushmore Park. When the road divides, take the right hand fork (signed Golf Club). You will cross a cattle grid into the golf course, the clubhouse is ahead and with the car park behind it.

From Blandford take the A354 towards Salisbury. After 3 miles you will drive through the village of Tarrant Hinton and about a mile further on you will pass a left turn signed Chettle and just beyond this at the brow of the hill is the large brown sign to the Golf Club as noted above. Continue north on down past Minchington Farm and on reaching Minchington Cross turn right (as towards Woodcutts and Sixpenny Handley) and the main entrance to the Golf Club is on the left-hand – north side. And continue through the Park as above.


Our August field meeting (kindly recorded by Robin Walls) was one to present a thought-provoking patchwork of evidence – a lost ‘ploughed out’ lost length of the boundary, lengths of low boundary bank presenting several ‘elongated’ tree stools suggesting long periods of rather more systematic management. And the remains of a very high wooden fence almost overgrown. And – not least – a now completely overgrown tumulus. Which in itself suggests that the boundary here is one of considerable age. Then there was the boundary ‘salient’ presented around the walled Rushmore garden. And – once clear of trees – those panoramic views which we have noted so often along lengths of Dorset’s borders with its neighbours.

Graham Hoddinott suggested that, following the interest expressed by the Rushmore Estate, we should forward an ‘Executive Summary’ to Philip Gready as to assist in ‘putting him in the picture’ a linking of the AONB Landscape Partnership Trust and the Rushmore Trust set up in 2015. And am attaching a copy of this. Last month Andy Poore was back in touch (last in touch further to the N/S Perrrot length we walked in 2017). I learn that he has been Forestry Consultant for Rushmore since 1987 and that the Estate Woods have been the site of a major bio-diversity project in co-operation with Natural England since 1990 with the focus being the 1000 acres of surviving semi-natural woodland which is also an SSSI. And is aware of the rich history of the Estate over and above the legacy of the General [Pitt-Rivers] on the prehistoric sites. Andy had a meeting with Linda Nunn of the AONB at the end of August and regretted not being able to join us on the 7 August being on holiday.

Please note

The activities of our Research Group are organised informally, and by joining in any of our outdoor events you do so entirely at your own risk, and we accept no liability for those who participate. If you wish to join us you are reminded that you must rely on your own ability and experience to gauge the difficulty and severity of the activity and the route or terrain involved, and you will be responsible for your own safety at all times.

Footpaths can be un-surfaced and, in places, steep or muddy. Any decision to continue or discontinue any walk or activity at any point is entirely your own choice, and you are reminded that you should have appropriate clothing, rainwear and footwear, and carry sun protection, food and drink adequate for the weather and the duration of the walk or excursion.

Shire rack - western extent?
Dorset Boundaries
The furthest West label 'Shire Rack' appeared on the 1886 O.S. First Ed. map (Dorset 09-14) - DCBS Boundary Book page 158
Ordnance Survey 1st Ed 1:2500, 1886
Shire Rack AONB

Earlier this week I had an e-mail from Roger Goulding with whom we had that most interesting – encouraging – meeting at the Priest’s House Museum in Wimborne last February (see the Reports circulated) who thanks us for our contribution ‘over the last 2 years on developing successful plans to attract more the 2M in support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and other great supportive partners for our Landscape Scheme.It has been a pleasure and a privilege to design solutions to long-held challenges with you, share your enthusiasm and passion for this amazing place, generally undervalued and poorly appreciated by so many people that live within it, nearby or that might visit. I wish you all (the AONB and new Scheme team) the very best of luck and every success for the future. I am moving to West Cheshire & Chester to be the Lead for Green Infrastructure in response to Councillors issuing a climate change emergency – and their number 1 priority!

In the days following our August field meeting there was lively e-mail discussion as to the origins – and connotation – of those place-names presented along the Shire Rack, not least those presented by Rushmore and Ashmore . . . and in relation to ‘moor’ and/or ‘mere.’ And with relevance here to geology and to water. Andrew Morgan noted that the only physical ‘gate’ across the Shire Rack/county boundary today is that presented along the edge of Rushmore Golf Course. Which in itself presents a very distinctive tract of land management (and also a very large, deep pond). Which prompts re-noting the potential for a Lidar survey at Shermel Gate and Sessions Gate and not omitting Mistlelberry Camp.

I am given to understand that matters relating to the ‘management’ of the £1.6 million HLFund will not make a start until ‘late in the autumn.’ Andrew suggests at our field meetings of 2020 should focus on this length of boundary which traverses the AONB – to complete our [AONB] archive (and assemble a ‘virtual digital perambulation’?) and to plan for Day School later in the year (which we haven’t held since the closing of the DCM) as to bring together, to assemble, things relating to this demonstrably historic length – our ‘cross-disciplinary’ exercise which, so far as I am aware, remains the first (and so far the only one) of its kind.

Looking forward to the next exploration of our northern border – don’t hesitate to get in touch further to ideas, observations – or queries.

 

c 1886 mapping. Nominal 1:5,000
Sheet Description Dorset Parish Other Parish link KB size date
156

Tollard Green

Ashmore, Tarrant Gunville, Farnham Tollard Royal; Wiltshire PDF
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602 1886
157 Rookery Farm Farnham Tollard Royal; Wiltshire PDF
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556 1886
158 Larmer Tree Farnham Tollard Royal; Wiltshire PDF
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431 1886
159 Minchington Down Farnham, Handley Tollard Royal, Berwick St John; Wiltshire PDF
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431 1886
160 Little Cartway Coppice Handley Berwick St John; Wiltshire PDF
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431 1886
161 Little Ball Handley Berwick St John; Wiltshire PDF
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431 1886
162 Little Shaftesbury Coppice Handley Berwick St John, Ebbesborne Wake; Wiltshire PDF
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431 1886
163 Eden Coppice Handley Berwick St John, Ebbesborne Wake; Wiltshire PDF
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431 1886
Additional Material
Sheet Description Dorset Parish Author link KB size date
-

Rushmore Estate executive summary

  Katherine Barker PDF
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83 2019